Landlords are ignoring laws requiring them to have an energy performance certificate (EPC) for rental properties, according to government statistics.
Only a quarter of buy to let homes have an EPC compared with 95% of owned homes marketed for sale and 755 of social housing.
The figures come from the Communities and Local Government Department, which admits the data is not reliable.
“The figures are not quality assured in the normal manner of government statistics. We are therefore unable to confirm the accuracy of the data or if the figures are statistically sound,” said a CLG spokesman.
They were issued in response to a freedom of information request from environmental charity 10:10 to support an argument that the government is failing to police EPC enforcement in the private rental sector.
The figures were based on information from the EPC Register, the English Housing Survey and an estimate of how many private rental properties change tenants.
Landlords are obliged by law to have an EPC available for prospective tenants within 28 days of advertising a property to rent. Letting agent advertising material should carry details of the EPC data.
Failing to obtain an EPC for a buy to let home can lead to a fine of £200.
Dave Timms, acting executive director of 10:10 claimed the CLG was “doing little to enforce the law on EPCs. Moreover, it has only a rough idea of how many estate agents are complying, and seems complacent about the widespread flouting of the rules.”
The rules are aimed at letting tenants see how much the cost of heating their new home should be and what level of energy emissions they should expect.
“Although the rules have been in place for nine months now, the department didn’t provide evidence to back up their claim. This shows just how little effort they’re making to enforcing measures which can help households and businesses cut their carbon emissions and save money,” said 10:10.